Daniel F. Summit (1826-1864)
Henry Summit (ca. 1820-1894)
of North Carolina

by Dan Summitt & Dan Summitt Jr.
Lexington, N.C.

The Dan Summitt family has embarked upon the task of researching and compiling the Summit(t) family history from the standpoint of North Carolina Summit(t)s. We know that the original North Carolina Summit was a German Lutheran immigrant named Johannes Frantz Sammet (1741-1818) who settled in the Lincoln County area around 1770. "Sammet" is the old German term for "weavers or traders in velvet". He was known in English records as Francis Summit.

He was married to a woman we know only as "Dolly". Francis and Dolly had twelve children born between 1769 and 1795--six sons and six daughters--all of whom survived him upon his death in 1818. Since four of the six sons-Christian, John, Henry, and Daniel-appear to have permanently moved away from North Carolina with their wives and children between about 1817 and 1827, it seems likely that the Summit(t)s arising in North Carolina records after 1827 were either the two remaining sons-Jacob and Francis Jr.-or their children. But this is easier stated than proved.

The two Summits covered in this article are my (Dan Senior's) great, great grandfather Daniel F. Summit and his brother Henry Summit. We have not been able to determine the parents of Daniel F. and Henry. We offer a compilation of our research in hopes of generating discussion and shedding some light on the Summit(t)s who remained in North Carolina. We encourage and solicit others to focus on North Carolina Summit(t)s in the 19th century to help us reconstruct these families and hopefully make the direct connection all the way back to the original Francis Summit Senior.

Daniel F. Summit

My second great grandfather was Daniel F. Summit. Daniel was born about 1826 in Lincoln County, North Carolina and died January 13th, 1864 in Camp Winder General Hospital, Richmond, Virginia. . Daniel was a grandson of Johannes Francis Summit. (Speculation concerning Daniel's parents will be found later in this article when we discuss his brother Henry)

Daniel married Sarah Knipe September 27th, 1845 in Lincoln County, North Carolina . Sarah was the daughter of Christian Knipe III and Polly Reinhardt . Her nephew, Daniel Knipe was a messenger in Company C of the US Army's 7th Cavalry from 1872 until 1882. General George Armstrong Custer commanded the 7th Cavalry. Daniel was one of two messengers sent for help when the "Battle of the Little Bighorn" first began. Luck was with him on that infamous day.

Daniel Summit enlisted August 3rd, 1861 at the age of 35 in Lincoln County, North Carolina and was assigned to the 1st Regiment North Carolina Infantry, Company D. He deserted June 5th of 1863 and returned September 30th 1863. Daniel forfeited one month's pay by order of courts- martial . Daniel's desertion may have followed being captured. His name appears as a signature to a Parole of Prisoners of War dated Office of the Provost Marshal General, Army of the Potomac, May 4th, 1863. Searches of the Virginia State Archives have been made to locate the gravesite of Daniel Summit. Unfortunately, mass, unmarked graves were not unusual during this period and no burial site has been located.

Daniel served with Ewell's Corps during the Mine Run Campaign (November & December 1863). Paynes Farm and New Hope Church were early clashes in the battle. Skirmishes were heavy, but a major attack did not materialize. Unfortunately, Daniel was wounded in the forearm on November 27th, 1863, he was admitted to Winder Hospital and died of "vulius sclopet" January 13th, 1864.

Children of Daniel Summit and Sarah May Knipe Summit are:

i. Margaret Summit born about 1846 in Lincoln County, North Carolina . She married Matthew Stroup September 6th, 1880 in Gaston County, North Carolina.

ii. Lawson H. Summit born September 24th, 1847 in Lincoln County, North Carolina and died December 28th, 1858 in Catawba County, North Carolina. Lawson is buried in the Knipe family cemetery in western Lincoln County.

iii. William Pinkney Summit born February 3rd, 1850 Lincoln County, North Carolina and died May 18th, 1921, Cleveland County, North Carolina . William Pinkney married Margaret Henson July 22nd, 1900 in Cleveland County . William Pinkney and Margaret are buried at Buffalo Baptist Cemetery in Waco, Cleveland County, North Carolina.

iv. Anne Summit born about 1852, Lincoln County, North Carolina, married George P Self, January 1st 1874, Cleveland County, North Carolina .

v. Nancy E. Summit born about 1854 in Lincoln County, North Carolina: married John "Mack" Lindsay, December 28th, 1882 in Gaston County, North Carolina . Mack was an engineer for the Seaboard Airline Railroad. While crossing a wooden trestle, the train broke through pulling 17 carloads of coal onto the engine killing Mack and his fireman .

vi. Ben Summit was born September 5th, 1855 in Lincoln County, North Carolina ; married Lucy Homesley , and died February 12th, 1936 in Kings Mountain, Cleveland County, North Carolina . Ben is the father of Lawson Gaither Summitt, my grandfather. Lawson Gaither married Katie Williams and to them eleven children were born, two daughters and nine sons, insuring a Summitt presence in North Carolina for many years to come. My father Herbert was the youngest of their eleven children.

vii. Eve Susan Summit born May 1857 Lincoln County, North Carolina .

viii. Thomas E Summit born December 25th, 1859, Lincoln County, North Carolina ; died April 18th, 1947, Lincoln County, North Carolina. He married Fannie Shell March 4th, 1885 in Gaston County, North Carolina 

After the death of Daniel, and prior to 1870, Sarah moved to Cherryville, North Carolina . "Mrs. Sallie Summit, the widow of Henry Summit's brother, Daniel, lived, and was largely supported by Henry Summit, on the north side of the New Shelby Road, in the extreme west end of town."

Henry Summit

Henry Summit was born between 1816 and 1828 in Lincoln County, North Carolina and died May 6th, 1894 in Gaston County, North Carolina. Henry married Eva Susannah Lenhardt, January 5th, 1842 . After Eva's death February 7th 1880 he married Amanda Neill April 12th, 1881 . Henry is buried in the St. John's Lutheran Church Cemetery in Cherryville, North Carolina. Eva Susannah's gravesite is located in the St. Mark's Lutheran Cemetery also in Cherryville, North Carolina.

The marriage license for Henry and Amanda lists Henry's father as Daniel Summit. It does not give his mother's name. Henry may have furnished this information and it should be correct, I question it. The only known Daniel Summit old enough at the time was the son of Francis Summit, Senior who had moved to the eastern part of Tennessee and whose children are well documented. 

A series of articles by Reverend C. A. Linn published weekly from February 18th, 1926 until July 8th, 1926 in the Cherryville "Eagle" gives the following information regarding Henry:

October 15th, 1852 Charley Dellinger sells to Henry Summit 230 acres "and thus enters upon the scene the one who may justly be called the founder of Cherryville".

"Henry came to the countryside from Lincoln County where his father and grandfather had made their homes, and where his grandfather Francis Summit had bought property as early as April 1st, 1787."

Rev. Linn lists the children of Francis Summit, Sr. as "Francis Jr., Daniel, Christian, John (the father of Henry), Jacob, Margaret (married Lewis Huet), Mary (married John Cloninger) Elizabeth (married David Drowbarger)."

Reverend Linn identifies John as the father of Henry and the grandson of Francis Senior. I am unsure of the accuracy of this information although Reverend Linn seems to know Henry and his family quite well as demonstrated in the next paragraph.

"As a young man, Henry had left home rather precipitously following his mothers second marriage and had secured work in a blacksmith shop. Later he had set up a blacksmith shop of his own, and still later had become distiller for John Mutts…Whether Henry Summit had ever maintained a distillery of his own, the writer has not learned. But such money as he had with which to set himself up in business, he had made, somehow, as a distiller….At the time of his marriage to Susanna Leonhardt, shortly before 1845, he had savings amounting to twelve hundred dollars."

"It was the store and barroom erected by Henry Summit shortly after his arrival at the crossroads that became the nucleus of the village which later was called Cherryville."

Mrs. Bobbie Yount Rudisill, in an article entitled "Cherryville's Churches" writes " The first thing that impressed me was the great contribution and influence of Mr. Henry Summit in the religious life of the community. This man gave of his facilities, his property, and his family in helping establish our churches. His granary was used by Lutherans, Methodists, and Wesleyans for worship service…He donated property to the Lutherans, Methodists and Baptists for building sites."

Children of Henry Summit and Eva Lenhardt are:

i. Margaret Ellen Summit, born about 1847 ,

ii. John Franklin Summit, born about 1849, Lincoln County NC ; died January 14, 1914 Gaston County, North Carolina 

iii. Sarah Jane Summit, born about 1852 , died March 6th, 1871 , married Phillip Sylvanus Baker March 12th, 1870. This union produced one child, Henry Sylvanus Baker. After Sarah's death, Henry Sylvanus moved in with his grandfather Henry.

iv. Mattie Candace Summit, born about 1855 , married W. J. McGinnis October 3rd, 1876 in Gaston County, North Carolina .

v. Frances Ellen Summit, born about 1858 , Gaston County North Carolina married A. C. Black, February 22nd, 1874 in Gaston County, North Carolina .

vi. Doctor Lee S. Summit, born March 14th, 1860 and died January 8th, 1931 Gaston County, North Carolina. He married Ella Teresa Blakeley September 15th, 1886 in Gaston County, North Carolina.

This article was originally published in the SUMMITT FAMILY QUARTERLY, Vol. 3, Issue 4 (January 1998), published and edited by Paul M. and Mary Summitt.To learn more of the family newsletter, visit the web site.

Comments and information may be submitted to 

Dan Summitt
622 High Rock Shores Drive
Lexington, N. C. 27292
(336) 798-1932
e-mail to Dan Summitt

Francis Summit (Johannes Frantz Sammet) (1741-1818) ( Paul C. Summitt)

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Last rev. 1 Feb 1998